How Much Space Should I Leave Open Around My Furnace?

November 05, 2019

Natural gas furnaces need enough space and airflow to run right.

Your furnace can shut down if it doesn’t have enough space. It also makes it hard for our professionals to accomplish furnace repair.

Routine furnace maintenance is important to keep your unit running well. An annually serviced furnace may work more efficiently, which could reduce your heating costs.

Related: How Does Furnace Maintenance Impact the Energy Efficiency of Your Home?

Maintenance often helps us notice troubles before they begin. This could help reduce future repair costs and likely lengthen the life of your unit.

So how much room should your system really have?

How Much Space Does My Furnace Need?

If you’re finishing your basement or sealing off your furnace room, you should take a look at manufacturer directions and Pocatello ordinances for clearance guidelines.

As a general recommendation, your heater should be 30 inches away from furnace room walls on all sides. This allows our service experts to conveniently work on it.

You also need to ensure the space has ample airflow and ventilation, especially if you have an outdated furnace with a metal flue.

Related: Furnace Service or Furnace Replacement: What to Consider

This model of furnace pulls combustion air from the adjacent space. If there’s not enough air, hazardous gas fumes and poisonous carbon monoxide could flow back into your home.

If your furnace is placed in a small room with a gas water heater, you may need to install supplemental openings. This could consist of a fully louvered door or vents in the walls.

Not sure if your furnace or water heater has proper ventilation? We can assist you!

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You don’t need to think about airflow and ventilation as much if you have a newer, high-efficiency furnace with PVC piping. Your unit uses one pipe as an exhaust vent and the other to pull in air.

Keep Combustible Materials Away from Your Furnace

Although furnace rooms function as laundry and storage space, you should keep yours free of clutter that could be fire hazards.

This includes:

  • Clotheslines
  • Cleaning or laundry products
  • Gasoline, paint or paint thinner
  • Rags and papers
  • Wood scraps and sawdust
  • Used filters

If you have a cat, put your litter box elsewhere. Cat urine contains ammonia, which could corrode your furnace’s heat exchanger. Plus, the furnace could move the unpleasant odors all over your home.

You should also regularly vacuum near your furnace to prevent dust from developing.

Related: Is it Time for Furnace Service or Replacement?

Request Expert Furnace Service 

Whether you have to have furnace replacement or regular maintenance in Pocatello, Vogts Heating & Air can expertly meet your needs. Our highly trained technicians can fix any heating equipment model or brand.

Call us at 208-621-0129 or use our online scheduler to get an appointment now.